Car­bon cap­ture key to global cli­mate tar­gets, warns IEA

Net-zero emis­sion goals ‘im­pos­si­ble to reach’ with­out ma­jor in­vest­ment boost, agency chief says

Arab News - - Business News - Reuters Oslo

A sharp rise in the de­ploy­ment of car­bon cap­ture, uti­liza­tion and stor­age (CCUS) tech­nol­ogy is needed glob­ally if coun­tries are to meet net-zero emis­sions tar­gets de­signed to slow cli­mate change, the In­ter­na­tional En­ergy Agency (IEA) said on Thurs­day.

A grow­ing num­ber of coun­tries and com­pa­nies are tar­get­ing net-zero car­bon diox­ide (CO2) emis­sions by around the mid­dle of the cen­tury in the wake of the 2015

Paris cli­mate agree­ment. To reach that, the amount of CO2 cap­tured must rocket to 800 mil­lion tons in 2030 from around 40 mil­lion tons to­day, the IEA, which ad­vises in­dus­tri­al­ized na­tions on en­ergy poli­cies, said in a re­port.

Up to $160 bil­lion needs to be in­vested in the tech­nol­ogy by 2030, a ten-fold in­crease from the pre­vi­ous decade, it added. “With­out it, our en­ergy and cli­mate goals will be­come vir­tu­ally im­pos­si­ble to reach,” the IEA head Fatih Birol said in a state­ment.

The global eco­nomic down­turn caused by the COVID-19 pan­demic risks de­lay­ing or can­cel­ing projects de­pen­dent on public sup­port, the

IEA said. An oil price slide had also re­duced rev­enues for ex­ist­ing CCUS fa­cil­i­ties sell­ing CO2 for so-called en­hanced oil re­cov­ery (EOR). How­ever, the IEA added: “Eco­nomic re­cov­ery pack­ages are a unique win­dow of op­por­tu­nity for gov­ern­ments to sup­port CCUS along­side other clean en­ergy tech­nolo­gies.”

Re­fer­ring to a ma­jor in­vest­ment to build two car­bon cap­ture plants and an off­shore CO2 stor­age fa­cil­ity, Birol said: “Nor­way showed its lead­er­ship in Europe by mak­ing a ma­jor fund­ing com­mit­ment to the Long­ship project.” Nonethe­less, the story of CCUS has largely been “one of un­met ex­pec­ta­tions,” marred by lack of com­mer­cial in­cen­tives, large cap­i­tal costs and public op­po­si­tion to stor­age, es­pe­cially on­shore, the IEA said.

In 2009, the agency called for 100 large-scale CCUS projects to be built by 2020 to store around 300 mil­lion tons of CO2 per year. To date, just 20 com­mer­cial projects are in op­er­a­tion, cap­tur­ing around 40 mil­lion tons per year.


A molten-salt so­lar ther­mal power plant in Dun­huang in China’s north­west. A grow­ing num­ber of coun­tries and com­pa­nies are turn­ing away from coal, be­low, and tar­get­ing net-zero emis­sions by 2050.

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